A request from Clearwater and District Chamber of Commerce for a small grant to help pay for its information desk at Wells Gray Infocenter could lead to business licenses within the municipality and possibly Wells Gray Country (TNRD Area A).
“We need to develop a long term solution for the information desk. That would be better than doing a one-time grant,” said councilor Merlin Blackwell when town council discussed the topic on Oct. 23.
The Chamber had approached town council last July, asking for a $7,400 grant to help pay for the information desk.
A survey of municipalities with similar size, economic background and/or operational functions found that there was no common formula for funding economic development, tourism and support for their local chambers of commerce, reported chief executive officer Leslie Groulx.
There also was no “cookie cutter” model for the operation of an information desk.
Nearly all the municipalities have business licenses and give part of the money raised to their local chambers of commerce.
Clearwater Fire Department started doing fire inspections of businesses for the first time this year. Many municipalities pay for this service through business licenses, Groulx said.
She noted that the municipality already has supplied significant funding to Tourism Wells Gray every year since incorporation, for a total of $204,000. Wells Gray Country services committee has supplied a further $160,000.
Council approved a recommendation from Groulx that council direct staff to bring back a full report on the establishment of business licenses.
The council members also referred the matter to the Joint Services Committee, which handles matters of interest to both District of Clearwater and Wells Gray Country.